Ashraf slams Mozena for pushing for trade unionism

LGRD Minister and Awami League General Secretary Syed Ashraful Islam on Wednesday sharply criticised US Ambassador Dan W Mozena for pushing Bangladesh to allow trade unions in the country’s RMG factories.

Without mentioning the US Ambassador’s name, he said the US envoy should look at his own country first before frequently advising Bangladesh regarding trade unionism.

Ashraf was speaking at the inaugural ceremony of the three-day long 23rd Bangladesh Apparel and Textile Exposition (Batexpo-2012) at Bangabandhu International Conference Centre (BICC) as a special guest.

He said 26 states out of 52 in the USA do not allow trade union. “Even Michigan is going to restrict the trade union from today,” he said asking the US Ambassador to establish trade union in his country first and then poke their nose in the internal affairs of Bangladesh.

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina inaugurated the programme as the chief guest.

Finance Minister AMA Muhith, Jute and Textiles Minister Abdul Latif Siddique, Commerce Minister GM Quader and Shipping Minister Shajahan Khan also spoke at the programme as special guests.

Ashraf said trade unionism is the right of the workers as per the constitution. “One ambassador of a strong country often leaps and jumps here and there shouting to allow trade unions in factories. He doesn’t even look at his own country,” the AL general secretary said.

The US Ambassador several times said the non-endorsement of trade unions in garment factories sends a negative signal to US buyers and it might impact the garment import from Bangladesh.

First vice president of BGMEA Mohammed Nasir Uddin Chowdhuy, and second vice president M Siddiqur Rahman also spoke at the function held with BGMEA President Safiul Islam Mohiuddin in the chair.